Feasting on Figs with Author Laura Sassi

Feb 18, 2021 10:04:00 AM / by Laura Sassi


Laura Sassi is an award-winning author of five children’s books. Little Ewe, her newest publication, is an endearing tale of a distracted sheep and her persistent shepherd, told in whimsical rhymes and with bright illustrations. To celebrate the release of Little Ewe, Laura shared with us a unique reflection on a bit of the inspiration that went into writing this book.

Little Ewe tells the story of a sheep who strays from the shepherd and spends her day exploring the countryside. One of the sweet distractions Little Ewe encounters on her day of exploration is figs! And I just love how illustrator Tommy Doyle has captured their green-purple hue and deliciousness in his illustration of Little Ewe rejoicing as figs tumble after seven sparrows land on twigs.  


The inclusion of figs in the story was not by chance. As part of honoring the biblical retelling of the parable of the lost sheep found in Luke 15, I wanted every encounter Little Ewe made to be rooted in the Mediterranean terrain where the original parable, told by Jesus, took place. And if you look them up, you will discover that sparrows, figs, and, yes, even badgers, all resided or grew in the countryside Jesus knew and loved. 


I also picked figs because, as a child, I didn’t even know they existed, except in the form of a fig bar, a favorite childhood cookie of mine. It wasn’t until I was all grown up that I had my first taste of an actual fig. I remember the moment vividly. We had moved to New Jersey, and my Italian American neighbor, whose mother had a fig tree on her property, shared a bowlful with us. Oh, my goodness! One bite and I was in heaven!

However, my picky-eater daughter, who was about five at the time, was sure she wouldn’t like them because they looked funny to her. Finally, after much joyful, animated eating on my part, she agreed to nibble one. She loved it. In fact, just one fig wasn’t enough. She wanted more and more! It was a figgy feast!


Thus, it was also with picky eaters in mind that I decided to include figs in my story. 

At our house, we like to pair books we read with treats made from foods mentioned in those books.  So, if you, like me, relish opportunities to broaden your picky eaters’ palates, may I suggest pairing Little Ewe with a bowl of figs? Or if they are not in season, how about fig jam, dried figs, or a fig cookie?

Happy Figgy Feasting!

BB little ewe flat

Click here to learn more about Little Ewe by Laura Sassi. 

Topics: Interviews

Laura Sassi

Written by Laura Sassi

Laura Sassi has a passion for telling stories in prose and rhyme. She is the author of five picture books including the best-selling Goodnight, Ark, which was a 2015 Christian Book Award Finalist; Goodnight, Manger; Diva Delores and the Opera House Mouse, which won First Honor Book for the 2019 Best in Rhyme Award; Love Is Kind; and Little Ewe. In addition to books, she's published over one hundred poems, stories, crafts, and articles in various children's publications.

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